@Danny ChipmanWith respect, what you're suggesting here seems
contradictory. You're highlighting a similarity between someone being blind
from birth, to the degradation? of a person's spiritual awareness - from
what I understand at least. I could be completely wrong, and I apologise if I
am.However, the above premise is from two conflicting viewpoints and
seems to indicate a lack of understanding between the two as linking them.
Obviously, this ignores the experience/knowledge that a previously spiritual?
person has had themselves. This, unfortunately, implies that a person who is no
longer spiritual never had it to begin with, which - despite the logical
contradiction - agrees mostly with the opinion of numerous ex-LDS members.The only place, I think, where you and a number of ex-LDS disagree is
due to what caused this rift? in experience: ex-LDS members (to be completely
transparent, I include myself in this group) would say the spiritual side? never
existed, whereas active members are more likely to say there was an issue with
faith/the Holy Ghost and therefore it couldn't be reached but nevertheless
exists.I don't think it's possible to resolve this, for
=And finally, if knowledge is impossible, how can we already know things?
(You=wrote, "Proof is the process of going from what we already
know...")That's just my point. If one has to be able to
prove something to know it, and if proving means going from what one already
knows to some conclusion, and if one is born knowing nothing, then one can never
prove anything, because one cannot get started.
Two whole classes of geometries sprang up that violated this axiom, and
mathematicians found that all those geometries were completely internally
consistent. In more recent times, physicists have discovered that one of those
classes of non-Euclidean geometries appears to describe the actual world better
than Euclid's geometry does. Still, the vast majority of elementary school
teachers who teach geometry choose Euclidean geometry due to its simplicity. Are
they wrong to do that?=Can we say this about your proposed axiom?No, and we can't say it about Euclid's Fifth Axiom either.=If gods and religion aren’t mathematics, then your asserted axiom
must=establish itself as true in the non-math world to qualify as more
than=conjecture, correct?That's all ANY of the axioms
are, is conjecture. By definition they are assumed to be true without any proof.
FJSL (aka Karen R.) posted:=Are mathematical proofs based solely on
axioms?No. If one theorem correctly proves a statement true, then
that statement can be asserted in a future proof. The axioms are all you know to
be true IN THE BEGINNING of one's mathematical knowledge.=Axioms like a+b = b+a are pretty much universally accepted, aren’t
they?Most are, but they don't have to be, and universality of
acceptance can change over time. For example, Euclid included as the fifth axiom
to his five-axiom system the assertion that, given in two dimensional space any
straight line and a point not on it, there "exists one and only one straight
line which passes" through that point and never intersects the first line.
This axiom got pretty close to universal acceptance in Euclid's day, but
over time more and more mathematicians grew to doubt it.
@ Glenn101Karen R. here."...maybe it would help if
we did not take every word literally."You're preaching to
the choir. I'm objecting because so many believers do take the word
literally. Let's not pretend this isn't the case.@
Mick"...why does an atheist always flock to the religious
articles..."Three reasons this atheist does: 1 - To
pay forward the good deed done by atheists before me who let themselves be
known. It's important to know you're neither alone nor crazy.2 - Because I believe religion is ultimately more harmful than
beneficial.3 - Because it helps me.
joe5 & Notso FastThe world is full of people that "know"
things that are objectively false. I can't prove you don't
"know" what you say you know, and you sure as shootin' can't
prove that you do.I would hope you would at least acknowledge that
you have heard someone make a claim of knowledge that you absolutely reject as
false. Millions of people once "knew" the sun was a god riding a
chariot across the sky. Many were probably absolutely sure of it, to the point
they would stake their lives and their families' lives on it. So, what did
the word "know" mean in that case? Oh yeah; it meant "believe."
Karen-My real question is why does an atheist always flock to the
religious articles and comment section? Why do you care?
Sounds like she's still trying to convince herself why she stays. She stays
because- she hopes for more from the Gospel. Why should she need to hope for
more from God? God should be giving plenty enough if it's truly his gospel.
We are all his children. No one is 2nd class & no one should be made to feel
2nd class. We're half the population and we're the only option for
procreation. We've got tons of leverage. Like Oliver- We want MORE!!
Strong LDS women go to Church, marry in the faith, stay home and raise their
children, teaching them not to quarrel and fight or be idle, nourishing them
spiritually, emotionally, and physically. They support and are meet companions
for their husbands, while serving themselves. Their husbands support and honor
them and appreciate them, while their wives are also strong enough to do the
same for their own chosen partner.
Karen R, I do not really think that this article was written to convince
skeptics. She was explaining herself, her reasoning. She did note that she was
not even attempting to speak for other women, but only for herself. It may
resonate with other women that feel the way she does, but will not move most
skeptics. They can only be moved by the Holy Spirit, which is what she is
essentially claiming for herself.And maybe it would help if we did
not take every word literally. After all, if you were to ask a person if they
were ready for say test or maybe just a hike and the person replied "I was
born ready," I do not think that anyone would actually expect that the
person was ready to take a test or take a hike the moment they uttered their
first vocal displeasure at having been removed from the safety and comfort of
the mother's womb.Glenn
@ KevinSimKaren R. here."So, apparently knowledge
doesn’t always require proof, at least in mathematics."I’m not a mathematician, so these are my questions:Are
mathematical proofs based solely on axioms?Axioms like a+b = b+a are
pretty much universally accepted, aren’t they? Can we say this about your
proposed axiom?If gods and religion aren’t mathematics, then
your asserted axiom must establish itself as true in the non-math world to
qualify as more than conjecture, correct? How is this typically done?And finally, if knowledge is impossible, how can we already know things? (You
wrote, "Proof is the process of going from what we already know...")
@joe5 "In my opinion, the best comment made in this entire discussion was
largely overlooked. It was Irony Guy (9am on 10 Aug) who said:"I
sat in a restaurant last night next to two families. One guy swilling beer in
front of his family, the mom covered with tattoos instead of clothing. The faces
of the children were empty, hopeless, kind of gray."Totally
disagree with this comment, Joe! To me it is very judgmental, using only very
superficial, one time observations.
@ joe5Karen R. here. Forgot to say this before."...by their fruits, ye shall know them...love one another..."What one thinks of another's fruits depends on one's point of
view (POV). Supporters of the 9/11 hijackers see them as heroes. How do we
know they’re wrong? I’ve learned here that love can sometimes
appear quite harsh in our eyes, but if we could just see the whole picture like
your god can, we’d understand and see the love too. So fruits
aren't a reliable measure because POV is subjective and possibly
incomplete. Irony Guy can't possibly know that how he saw the scene at the
restaurant is accurate. It's a snapshot in time and his POV could reflect
nothing more than his biases. But at least in that case the truth could be
determined. It can't be in the context of gods, as you admitted
yourself.So please tell me why, if it would be dishonest of me to
claim that I know that gods don’t exist*, believers who are aware that
their claims are unfalsifiable shouldn't be held to the same standard?*(I'm convinced. I don't "know.")
FJSL: First, I do respect the personal experience of people of all faiths and
even people of no faith. I believe each person is on his own path to discovering
the ultimate truth about God and his plan for them. However, we each then get to
make decisions and seek other experiences that will either advance toward that
truth or divert away from it. So, besides personal experience, another part of
the equation is captured in sayings like "by their fruits, ye shall know
them" and "love one another; by this shall all men know ye are my
disciples."In my opinion, the best comment made in this entire
discussion was largely overlooked. It was Irony Guy (9am on 10 Aug) who said:"I sat in a restaurant last night next to two families. One guy
swilling beer in front of his family, the mom covered with tattoos instead of
clothing. The faces of the children were empty, hopeless, kind of gray."The other family talked excitedly about mission calls. They were upbeat,
energetic, their faces full of hope and faith."When people ask
me about why I commit to the LDS gospel, I say just watch people. You'll
see the proof with your own eyes."
It's OK if you were not born 'knowing'. If you went through the
rituals time and again and came to the conclusion that this is not affirmation
but indoctrination. If you've heard every teleological or ontological
argument there is and found that everyone who triumphantly argues their way to
the conclusion of a god has yet to even consider why they can tell you what to
eat or how to dress or whether you can have a cup of coffee. Arguing that god
exists is not the same as arguing that yours is the correct one. It's
OK to be strong and outside of the church, too. Don't be bullied into the
idea that it is a prerequisite for being a functional, contributing person in
@ 2 bits"Why would God ask us to..."A
nonsensical question to an atheist."But we also need a way to
confirm when we are on the right track.. .don't we?"It
certainly would aid the project if believers could provide confirmation, but all
that's offered is assertions, assumptions, and subjective experience
indistinguishable from confirmation bias.@ joe5"There is no way for you to prove that nobody knows..."Exactly. An unfalsifiable claim cannot be proven. So what is the
justification for claiming anyway that, "I know my god exists and wants X
from me?" Faith of course, which is more than your garden-variety type.
How? Apparently simply by virtue of it being religious in nature.This is magical thinking.joe5: "Personal experience provides
the strongest evidence of truth."notsofast: "Challenging me as
'not knowing' does not afford me the same respect that I afford
"So we should accept as truth and respect the personal
experience of the 9/11 hijackers
and the millions that share their views,
I know.I respect that you know what you know.Challenging
me as "not knowing" does not afford me the same respect that I afford
you and ultimately, makes no difference to me.I still know. That's it. That's all.
I fully respect the author's spiritual knowledge. I believe that people can
"just know" things that are unseen. It might not make sense to others
but clinging to that testimony can bring strength and happiness.I do
take issue with the tone and title of this article, however. When you say,
"strong women stay in the Church" you're saying that the only ones
who leave are weak. I know many strong, faithful, loving women who have left the
church, or who are having a really hard time staying - women who have been
missionaries or Relief Society presidents, wonderful mothers, or caring visiting
teachers. I know women who pray and read their scriptures faithfully and are
fervently seeking answers in the right ways, but who have had serious trials of
their faith and just can't hold on anymore. We need to stop saying that
only the weak and worldly women have doubts. We need to stop saying, "Oh,
well maybe if you just pray a little harder, you can be strong like me." We
need to listen to, love and accept those who have doubts or different views.
There are many in our congregations who need more support and less condemnation
in their interactions with church members.
KevinSim: Let's talk about proof. Someone mentioned that they KNOW the sun
will rise tomorrow. What is their evidence? Experience. The sun has risen every
day of their lives so they KNOW it will rise again.A wife may say
she KNOWS her husband loves her. Her KNOWLEDGE is based on years of consistent
experiences when he has shown his love through his words and actions.
(That's why true love grows ever stronger for older people.)No
reasonable person would claim math or scientific are the only evidence of truth.
If so, we would have to discard almost everything we think we KNOW because
science is consistently incorrect.In the 1940s, science said that
touching a human heart would kill the person. Wrong.In the 1970s,
science said that we would completely deplete the world's oil reserves by
the end of the century. There are currently more oil reserves than any time in
the history of mankind.The theory of relativity has been and will
continue to be refined or modified to meet every edge case in the universe.Personal experience provides the strongest evidence of truth. Science is
merely on way of testing the hypotheses that arise from our experiences.
Mathematics starts from axioms and then expands to cover the entirety of
mathematical knowledge. What if we consider the existence of a personal God an
axiom? Actually, I think it's more than that. I think the existence of such
a God is more a self-evident truth than any of the accepted axioms of
mathematics. So on those days when I get up to bear my testimony on Fast
Sundays, I now have no qualms declaring that I do know God has chosen the LDS
Church to take His message to the world.
1aggie posted:=Though i've had experiences I would describe as
spiritual I don't use the term="knowing" when speaking of
spiritual things. I choose to believe I've had=spiritual
experiences--by exercising faith.This was my approach for a while
too. I had no problem telling people I have faith in God, and that I
didn't, strictly speaking, KNOW that there was a God. But then I got to
thinking, for the word "know" to have any meaning at all, it can't
mean ability to prove its object neo-mathematically. If it did, then nobody
would be able to know anything. Was that really the intent of our distant
ancestor who coined the word "know," to set it up as an ideal that could
never be actually achieved? I decided that I didn't think so.
Karen R. posted:=The author can accurately and honestly claim that
she was taught that she was=born knowing of a divinity within her and that
she 100% believes this to be=true. But to turn this belief into knowledge
requires proof.Proof is the process of going from what we already
know, and then using rules of inference on them to conclude things we have newly
discovered. So if this is true, and knowledge does indeed require proof, then
doesn't that make knowledge impossible? How can we ever get started? I
think it's pretty clear that you are saying that we are born knowing
nothing, are you not? Then how does one ever gain one's first piece of
knowledge? How does one prove something from nothing?Often when
people talk of proof, mathematical proof is held up as the highest ideal. But
mathematical proof relies on using those rules of inference on axioms, which
axioms are by definition statements that are considered to be known to be true
without proof. So, apparently knowledge doesn't always require proof, at
least in mathematics.
Sharrona posted:=The unregenerate (unsaved)person is dead in their
sins (Romans 5:12). Without=the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man
is blind and deaf to the message=of the gospel (Mark 4:11). The Total
Inability of humans without a knowledge of=God will never come to this
knowledge without God's making him alive through=Christ (Eph
2:1-5).If we are in a world where a human starts out without any
ability to "come to this knowledge," and without any ability to in the
future come to this knowledge unless God makes "him alive through
Christ," and if we are also in a world where a supernaturally powerful but
deceptive being has a certain amount of influence, then how do you personally
know that you HAVE come to any kind of knowledge? How do you know that you
haven't simply been deceived by that evil one into THINKING that you have
that knowledge?You quoted a lot of scriptures from the Bible. I
guess I don't understand what good it does to quote them until you know
that God WANTS us to use Bible scriptures to understand His truth. Do you know
that He wants us to use them for that purpose? If you do know that He does, how
do you know it?
One commentator said....God has instructed us to avoid Socialism. He prefers
capitalism.Really? So Jesus, after feeding the Five Thousand, wrote up
a bill?The Good Samaritan sent an invoice?Charity, and almost all
forms of generosity based on moral concern, is Socialism.Just ask any
Capitalist. If they don't deserve a hand out, if they didn't earn
it.....they areparasites. Get a Job, you lazy bum! says the Pharisee.
Swan: Please do not reflect your own limitations on me. Just because YOU
don't know, how does that necessarily mean that nobody else can know? There
is no way for you to prove that nobody knows so how can you "know"
that. Using Karen R's logic, trot out your conclusive evidence to support
such a global, unsubstantiated claim. Maybe if you caveated it with "I feel
like I know that nobody can know ..."Instead, consider the
possibility that you might just be naÏve (which simply means
inexperienced). Again, your lack of experience does not translate to every
person on earth having that same deficiency. I am certainly naÏve in some
ways so I would never claim to be an expert in those areas. However, that
doesn't seem to stop you from claiming expertise in the areas of your
ignorance.So what exactly makes you so convinced that nobody else
can know? Is it belief or faith? Put the shoe on your foot for a minute and see
how it fits.
@ Vermonter, who stated that Mormons keep learning until the day they die and
that "the glory of God is intelligence". I really like this
principle, but I found very little evidence of it within Mormonism. Instead of
engaging the hard questions, more often than not Sunday services were nothing
more than a catechism of rote questions and answers that never seemed to change.
Any questioning that dared venture beyond these limits was usually met with
responses such as, "that's not important to our salvation",
"milk before meat", "God's ways are not our ways",
"we'll find out in the millennium", and "some truths are not
very useful." I understand why the Church places limits on what
people can question and talk about, because the uncorrelated answers are not
very faith promoting.But the second issue I have with saying "I
know the Church is true", is that the Church places such a low value on that
phrase. I remember in the MTC we were taught by apostles that even if we
didn't know yet, then to just say we know because "a testimony is found
in the bearing of it." Regrettably, I played along and bore false witness
that I knew something to be true that I did not actually know.
Vermonter:It's not "offensive"; however, it is
annoying, because it's incorrect. Really, it's just a quirk of Mormon
culture that simply stating that you "believe" or "have faith"
isn't good enough . . you have to "know" or you just don't
measure up to the Bros and Sisters Jones.It starts when adorable
little kids march adorably up to the pulpit and give that same
"testimony" we've heard a million times. Mom and dad and the
bishopric beam with pride, which reinforces the tyke's "testimony."
"Golly gee whiz; Mommy and Daddy are proud of me! I said the right
thing!" As we grow older, we say the same stuff, just in a more articulate
way, but the motivation and psychology behind it is the same.We
attended a private sacrament while on vacation overseas recently, and my
bro-in-law (a stake president) gave a talk, during which he gave one of the most
forceful "I KNOW THIS STUFF IS TRUE!!" talks I've ever heard, and
frankly, it was strange. I still don't get why he was almost desperate to
convince us that he KNEW, even though we were all aware of it. You
can't convince skeptics (like me, a non-believing member) with sheer force
of verbiage. You don't "know" what you know.
I think we differ on definitions of "knowing, "choosing to believe,"
and having "faith." To me knowing something absolutely
doesn't require faith. I know the sun rises and sets every day. I know
I live in the U.S. and that I have a body . Though i've had experiences I
would describe as spiritual I don't use the term "knowing" when
speaking of spiritual things. I choose to believe I've had spiritual
experiences--by exercising faith.
@Swan Ronson.Sorry if the word "knowing" offends or seems
incomprehensible in the context of a Supreme Being. But, for active Mormons,
there really is no other English word as good as "know" to describe that
mental understanding. At a certain point, the word "believe" is much
too weak. And, why are Mormons so obsessed with "knowing?"
Because they are taught that "the glory of God is intelligence, or light and
truth." The ultimate quest for Mormons is to learn who God is, what God has
done, and how God lives. A corollary is to learn every worthwhile thing that we
can about the world around us. So, for active Mormons, the learning never
stops, right up to the second we die.That process of learning is for
the most part, understanding a principle, testing the principle through action,
and gaining knowledge about the principle.Sorry if "knowing"
does not seem appropriate, or if it offends. But, Mormons' greatest
aspiration is to gain as much knowledge as we can in this life.
RE: apm22 Joseph's polygamy/polyandry, etc.? I would like to hear a strong
lds woman discuss these subjects to help us all navigate this information. Good
point!-A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one
wife,..”(I Tim 3:2).,The Apostles did not maintain any O.T. pattern of
polygamy and they and the early church condemned it.e.g..,1. Justin
Martyr (c.160) rebukes the Jews for allowing polygamy. 2. Irenaeus (c.180)
condemns the Gnostics for, among other things, polygamy." D&C 101: 4,”Inasmuch as this Church of Christ(JS) has been
reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we
believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband”,
also "(H of C, vol. 2, pg. 247 August 1835.)This scripture
remained in the LDS canon until 1876,The general body of the church were
informed about polygamy in 1852, at which time many practiced it because leaders
like Brigham professed the necessity of it for Exaltation. Since ( July 1843),
contradicted 101:4, It was removed in 1876, when section 132 was placed in the
"I was born knowing -- knowing -- that there was divinity in me."Once again, Mormons have this weird need to state their beliefs as if
they are objective facts. Using the word "knowing" and adding it a
second time for emphasis, doesn't make her statement more believable. You
believe in a religion or God; you don't "know." Sorry; you just
don't. The force with which you state your belief doesn't make the
religion itself more true."It's not the things you
don't know that get you into trouble; it's the things you know for
sure that just ain't so." -- Often attributed to Mark Twain, but who
Another strong woman comes to mind: Fawn Brodie. She wrote the book, "No Man
Knows My History". I wonder if Eva has read that book? I also wonder if Eva
has read the essays on lds.org regarding Race and the Priesthood, Book of Mormon
Translation, Joseph's polygamy/polyandry, etc.? I would like to hear a
strong lds woman discuss these subjects to help us all navigate this
@Karen R,Why would God ask us to find him and his message to us... but
then give us no way to find him, and no way to know when we have found him and
his message?Of course we need to exercise faith. But we also need a
way to confirm when we are on the right track.. .don't we?And
why would he deny us that knowledge?
RE: Karen R. “Spiritual Discernment.” (1 Cori 12:10.) “ He
gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit
of God or from Another Spirit.” E.g..,The unregenerate
(unsaved)person is dead in their sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the
Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel
(Mark 4:11). The Total Inability of humans without a knowledge of God will never
come to this knowledge without God's making him alive through Christ (Eph
2:1-5).The effect of the fall upon man is that sin has extended to
every part of his personality. Not necessarily that he is intensely sinful, but
that sin has extended to his entire being. But,For it is by grace
you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is
the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are
God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:8-10(NIV)
To those posters who don't see Witesman's battle-of-the-sexes here, I
simply ask, Then who is her antagonist?
@ ute alumni, mona, and moi2uBelievers are taught to equate deep
conviction with knowing, but they aren't the same. IMO understanding and
respecting the distinction is important. (Perhaps critical in a world with
WMDs.)@ Cinci ManI'm genuinely interested to hear
what you think I'm not being honest about.@ Mick"Do you offer proof of what you believe
"As a rule, I
do try to limit my comments to what I can back up. (You know this from personal
experience. You've challenged my comments before.) @ John
Charity SpringI’m afraid the reference means nothing to me.@ VermonterI think it's a careless and devaluing use of
the concept that enables truly dangerous claims of knowing like, "Our god
wants us to fly planes into buildings," or more recently from a popular
Baptist preacher, "God has given Trump authority to take out Kim
Jong-un."@ NoNamesAcceptedTo me, your question is
nonsensical.@ Craig ClarkYour comment made me grin. As
you’ve probably noticed, I’m not nearly as circumspect as you!
@ Commenter88"For the critic to say that one cannot know
something about oneself..."If I'm "the critic,"
please identify where in any of my comments I say this. (And regardless of who
“the critic” is, why didn’t you just address the person
directly? I found that odd.)The author can accurately and honestly
claim that she was taught that she was born knowing of a divinity within her and
that she 100% believes this to be true. But to turn this belief into knowledge
requires proof. Tell me how one goes about proving that this belief is true.
The problem is the restoration gospel you speak of means we must conclude All the reformation fathers were false and no living Christian existed till
1830 From 100 ad after all the apostles died off and the whole Christian
church fell Into apostasy this told by a wild eyed over imagitive boy who
spun tall tales And was into peep stoning the idea of searching for buried
treasure by look at a stone in a hat and seeing where the treasure was buried
this by a boy of 17 Knowing better then all the living and past living
people on the earth this sound More like science fiction then fact even
current leaders of the lds church admit That the lds brand of
Christianity. Is far different then those of us who call ourselves biblical
evangelical Christian I think all lds members should take a challenge to study
the Bible alone for one month and not use any lds material Or the Book of
Mormon or any other lds sacred scriptures and see what you come up with
@ ute alumni, mona, and moi2uBelievers are taught to equate deep
conviction with knowing, but they aren't the same. IMO understanding and
respecting the distinction is important. (Perhaps critical in a world with
WMDs.)@ Cinci ManI'm genuinely interested to hear
what you think I'm not being honest about.@ Mick"Do you offer proof of what you believe
"I do limit
my comments to what I can back up with evidence if challenged (you know this
from personal experience) or I try to remember to make it clear that I’m
speaking from opinion only. @ John Charity SpringI’m afraid the reference means nothing to me.@ VermonterI think it's a careless and devaluing use of the concept that
enables truly dangerous claims of knowing like, "Our god wants us to fly
planes into buildings," or more recently from a popular Baptist preacher,
"God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-un." @
NoNamesAcceptedTo me, your question is nonsensical.@
Craig ClarkYour comment made me grin. As you’ve probably
noticed, I’m not nearly as circumspect as you!
Anyone obviously has the right to believe anything they like.As a
former mormon, I was absolutely convinced I knew the church was true.I'm not here to get snarky, but the leadership had acknowledged there was
never any revelation to ban blacks from the priesthood. (Their words, not mine.)
There also is no canonical revelation disallowing women from the priesthood.
(I'm aware there are statements by Mormon prophets, but if you read stuff
that Brigham Young said, it makes you cringe.) And canonical revelations must be
voted on by the body of the church, making Proclamation of the family,
non-canonical.The Book of Mormon has stories of the people
petitioning the prophet. Why should someone get excommunicated for asking the
leadership to approach God to give women the priesthood? These men have been
wrong before (they were about black people). Why should they be so sure they are
The comparison of spiritual feelings and sexual orientation comes from
ignorance. I fully understand the spiritual feelings of testimony but found
they are subject to broader knowledge and experience. I have not found my
sexual orientation to be subject to anything. Are there some who may have a
different experience with sexual orientation..probably, but it is not a general
rule. Broader knowledge and experience very often effect spiritual feelings,
thus the Mormon church's aversion to broader investigation (it's not
spiritually uplifting..no kidding). I have to admit after
experiencing all the contradictions, and inconsistencies of the Mormon faith, if
I were to actually awake and find they were right..my first comment to God would
@Skeptic - Phoenix, AZRe., "The church needs to give the priesthood to
the women and enhance the church's whole." Based on this comment, I am
assuming you are not a member of the LDS church. As such, I cannot fault you
for not knowing how things work in our church. The prophet and apostles leading
this church do not make decisions based on what is politically correct, popular
or even what would possibly enhance the church's whole. They are under
the direct guidance of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Either from them
directly or through prayer, fasting and revelation they are commanded in how to
lead the church. Who should receive the priesthood is God's decision, not
man's. As a woman in the church I am satisfied with the incredible role I
have to play and grateful for the priesthood my father, husband and sons hold
and the way it has blessed all of our lives.
@HSTucker wrote, "With practice, spiritual discernment becomes
just another of our senses, by which we can come to believe and even
"know" things."I see a problem here. I have known many
people who told me that they "knew" that they belonged to the one, true
church.Some were LDS. Others were Catholics. Others were
evangelical Protestants. Still others were Jehovah's Witnesses. I know only a handful of Muslims and Christian Scientists, but I have no doubt
that there are people belonging to those religions who would say the same thing.
Each of them believes that they are right. I can't tell you
who is right. Maybe all of them. Maybe none of them. Caring for
my fellow man and caring for the Earth is, to me, the most important thing. You
are entitled to believe differently.
Some of these comments are interesting. Telling someone that they cannot know
something about themselves is profoundly ironic, and inaccurate. What you know
about yourself is not an external, objective, reality that can be examined with
a scientific method, so it is de facto.For the critic to say that
one cannot know something about oneself is, for the critic, imbuing him or
herself with an omniscient perspective (the very quality the critic claims
cannot make such a thing as God).It's sort of like saying
"there is no way of knowing something like God exists, unless you are
thinking of me, because I have the very qualities that I assert do not
@Marxist,Re: "Men who do not seek profit are regarded as lesser men.
Agree?"...---No. Disagree.Men in the church are not
ranked by income. Neither are women. Income is irrelevant in the gospel.Remember his instructions to the rich man?"It is easier
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the
kingdom of God". So obviously riches are not needed.Think
President Monson sought profit? I don't.President Monson
never had a high paying job. And yet... he was called to lead, as Bishop, Stake
President, Mission President, General Authority, Apostle (at age 36), and
President of the Church. Never earning a lot of money.He
wasn't after money.Income is irrelevant.Men who
earn less are not "lesser men".===How does God
view capitalism?...---I don't know. But he hasn't
instructed us to stop it (through his prophets). He has instructed us to avoid
Socialism (through many prophets, President Benson being one of the most vocal
prophets on this).===Is it God's economic
system?---He doesn't have an economic system. He doesn't
have any money. And when he returns we will not have an economic system (like
any we know today).
joe5 . The Savior was the most humble of all human beings yet he never said he
was anything less than the Son of God."Have this attitude in
yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form
of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied=(
kenosis)Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the
likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by
becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross," (Phil.
2:5-8). Anselm.. Why God Became Man,” For God will not do it,
because he does not owe it, and man will not do it, because he cannot.
Therefore, for the God-Man to do this, the person who is to make the
satisfaction must be both perfect God and perfect man, because none but true God
can make it, and none but true man owes it."
Athanasius', Theosis "the reintegration of the divine image of
man's creation through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit conforming
the redeemed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the believer's
transition from mortality to immortality so that he is enabled to participate in
the eternal bliss the kingdom of God."
Kaern R (Houston)- Knowledge is not merely a "feeling"-feelings are
based on belief. Knowledge is truth and God's truth boldly declared is
endowed with power from on high. For example, I can honestly declare that I was
born knowing (not feeling) that I Am A Child of God and that He loves me,
unconditionally, and always has from before the foundation of the world. Because
of this sure knowledge, come what may, I can never deny that as fact. This
knowledge serves to generate continued faith in Our Lord that He will give us
the strength to handle what may yet come in our lives for good or ill. You ask
for proof of such boldly declared knowledge-there is no 'proof' other
than to experience it for yourself. The Scriptures declare that it's not
only possible for everyone who seeks. Once we receive it we may "strengthen
our brethren" as Jesus said to Peter. If you haven't already, I invite
you to experience it for yourself so that you may boldly declare "I
Know" without hesitation. Jesus gave you the promise in James 1:5. Joseph
boldly declared he 'knew' because he had a sure witness. Millions of
lives have changed for good since then because of his bold declaration of "I
@John Charity Spring wrote,"Karen R would be wise to remember
that those once bitten by a snake fear even a coiled rope."Unfortunately, John, but most of us are not as intelligent as you are, and we
have no clue as to what your references to coiled ropes, Kaiser Wilhelm, or your
antipathy toward crocs and nachos have to do with the subject at hand. Can you
please tell us lesser beings what on earth your are talking about?
"Why do strong women stay in the church? I cannot answer this question for
anyone else."I would agree with that statement. But, your point
gets a little muddied when you use the phrase "strong women" as if you
are speaking for all "(strong) women" who maintain activity in the LDS
Church. What do you mean by "strong women?" Are you
speaking of "strong" as independent of men's opinion or defined
roles or? Sometimes it is "strong" to challenge the status
quo, or to ask questions. Civilization would not have advanced were it not for
those who questioned and challenged. Seminary is where your
questions are answered and life after seminary is when your answers are
I do not doubt the sincerity of the author's words, and although I've
left the Church, I hope that women with strong voices such as hers are given
more room within Mormonism.However, it is equally as valid to point
out that many strong women have also left the Church. They've left for
various reasons, some of them being the realization that what's good about
Mormonism is not necessarily unique, and what's unique about Mormonism is
not necessarily good. There are many, many paths to a good, happy, moral life.
When I realized I could seek out the divine and mysteries of life's
important questions without the burden of rationalizing Joseph's
Smith's child brides, peep stones, and the Church's history against
racial minorities and LGBTQ folks, a new world opened up to me that is full of
more wonder and awe and exhilaration than Mormonism ever offered me.I understand and respect that Mormonism works for a lot of people, but it
seems there are more and more of us who are finding a different, happier, and
more fulfilling path.
@Danny Chipman: I was about to write something similar but you did a great job.
Speaking of the blind, it is not uncommon for the blind to develop a
"sixth sense" that allows them to perceive obstacles. (Google, e.g.,
human echolocation)One can imagine a blindfolded person declaring
their skepticism that a blind person could possibly "know" of an object
without being able to see it. With practice, spiritual discernment
becomes just another of our senses, by which we can come to believe and even
This article is spectacular. I am always inspired by women of faith who refuse
to be dragged down to the level of society's dim view of their nature,
role, identity, and potential.Women are divine; they are literally
God's crowning creation. And nothing short of the gospel of Jesus Christ
can do justice to femininity fully understood.
It's because as men age, we're less likely to be emotionally
But Karen R., she didn't "feel like" she knew. She knew. I knew
too. Perhaps that's a spiritual gift some are born with, yet all can have
the knowing, if they would only seek after it.
@2bits "Anyone who actually understands the gospel (and not the
gender-based angst many in the world live with today), you would know for sure
that both genders are equal (in God's eyes)."So, 2bits,
since you understand God's view of the world, how does God view society?
How does God view capitalism? Is it God's economic system? These are important questions, because capitalism and Mormonism have
particular expectations of men. In Mormondom the best men are profit seeking.
Men who do not seek profit are regarded as lesser men. Agree?Is is
alright in God's eyes for people, both genders, not to be aggressive in
amassing personal wealth? At some point in the future we have to
come to grips with what is desirable in human behavior, what is optimum. In the
meantime I fully acknowledge there are strong women in the Church. I know many
of them, but I would like to have more opportunity to understand how they view
@Karen R.: Do you demand that same level of "humility" when it comes to
knowing one's sexual orientation or identity?@Impartial7: Does
that confusion extend to "knowing" whether various conditions are the
result of nature or nurture? Or "knowing" that a particular religion is
a fraud?Why do those who most quickly jump on the bandwagon of
"do what works for you without worrying about what society, family, or
religion tells you" most reliably turn around and question the veracity or
efficacy of someone's deeply personal experience? Is not the author
entitled to her truth just as you are entitled to your truth? Or is personal,
relative truth only available to those who reject religion, cast off proven
values, and spend their free time attacking and tearing down?Must
every religiously uplifting article be attacked? Is it not possible to ignore?
Or to simply post, "She seems like a bright, articulate, empowered person.
If it works for her, I'm happy for her."?
I didn't see this as a gender-centric op-ed. What she felt, I felt. Even
though I was not born into the LDS church (I was Catholic), I felt that same
divinity within me and the doctrines and practices of the LDS church provided a
perfect resonance for what was already in my mind and heart. Her sentiments are
not reserved for women alone but for all of us who have the courage to admit and
explore our divinity.As for humility, the Savior was the most humble
of all human beings yet he never said he was anything less than the Son of God.
Joseph Smith admitted his ignorance but he never said he was stupid or denied
that he was called of God to be a prophet. It is not proud to admit our inherent
greatness. In fact, it is a false pride that claims we are anything less than we
truly are. People who do so are usually fishing for compliments in order to
satisfy their pride.Those who doubt her knowledge need to come to
terms with the idea that their lack of spiritual experience is a reflection of
them and not an indictment of everyone else. Your lack of experience is not
evidence that such experiences are contrived or impossible.
Does a person blind from birth "know" what the color red is, beyond its
numerical wavelength and frequency on a spectrum? Does a healthy person
"know" what it is like to have a crippling, painful illness? There are
some things that are knowable only to those who have the sense to perceive them.
Fortunately, a sense of spiritual perception--a sixth sense, if you will--can
be developed by all. Like a muscle, it has to be exercised. Some have allowed
theirs to atrophy. To deny someone's earnest spiritual perception and truth
is to deny the color red exists--because you can't see it for yourself.
RE: Mick . “ was born knowing there is divinity in me.” ”(2Peter 1:4).“... so that through them you may
participate=(koinnos/*communion ).=The Apostles Creed/The communion of Saints.
E.g..,- Theosis: Partaking of the Divine Nature-image The
Orthodox(Christian) Church understands theosis as a union with the energies of
God and Not with the essence of God which always remains hidden and unknown.
However, the experience of the Church testifies that this is a true union with
God. Orthodox Christians believe there are three persons in the Godhead, each
divine, distinct and equal. The Father God is the eternal head; the Son is
begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. Our full union
with God is a union with the "energies" of God. These energies, while an
extension of God, are not to be confused with the "essence" or
"substance" of God, which is unknown by humans and is shared only by the
Holy Trinity. Our union with God will Not make us gods but will make us partners
in the Divine nature in works not in essence. We will Not acquire the unique
characteristics of such as being the Creator, the Omnipresence,
RE: 2 bits .”If you accept what God has revealed in the proclamation to
the world.” True,The priesthood of all believers. (1 Peter
2:5-9 NIV). "You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual
house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God
through Jesus Christ
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him
who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.Believers
are called "royal priesthood" as a reflection of their privileged status
as heirs to the kingdom of the Almighty God and no other earthly mediator is
necessary.RE: Cinci Man. The offspring of God, is referring to
those who have been born spiritually of God. (Acts 17:29) Yet to all who did
receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become( for
they are not naturally) children of God (John 1:12) That which is born of
flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is spirt”. (John 3:6).
This passage contradicts the concept of a flesh and bone Heavenly Mother who
gives birth to heavenly spirit babies.
When people insist they know of a surety, know beyond a shadow of a doubt, know
with every fiber of their being that something is true, I can’t tell them
that they can’t or don’t. Or at least I know better than to try
I re-read her letter, and I didn't see her denigrating or elevating either
gender. So I don't understand why so many have tried to derail this onto
the gender equality path (when that's not what the letter was about).Anyone who actually understands the gospel (and not the gender-based
angst many in the world live with today), you would know for sure that both
genders are equal (in God's eyes).Proof:Google and Read
"The Family: A Proclamation to the World"...1. “Fathers and
mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. ""EQUAL" partners. Not one President of the family and the other
vice-president. EQUAL partners.Read the rest. It confirms what she
stated in her letter (about our divine nature, etc).There is nothing
in the proclamation on the family that states one gender is less than the other,
in the family or anywhere. We have different roles in the family... but that
doesn't make one superior to the other. We are equal partners.If you accept what God has revealed in the proclamation to the world (which it
sounds like she has) then there is no reason for a strong woman who accepts her
role as "Equal Partner" to leave the family, or the church.
The only people who confuse feelings for knowing are those who do not know.
Those of us who do know, know. No amount of explanation can
compensate for failure to follow the prescribed path to know. It's always up to us, each individual. One can stay wondering or one can
know. Grateful that the women in my life; Grandma's, mother,
wife and daughters ALL KNOW!!
@Bloodhound - Provo, UTRe: "If these women (or men for that matter)
are so strong, why do they need God?"...---No matter how strong
you are, or how strong willed you are... you still come up short in life and
need God, redemption, and grace.Nobody is perfect (no matter how
strong). It's human nature that we can't become so strong and
perfected that we no longer need God. That philosophy is like people of Babel
thinking they are so strong and awesome they can build a tower back to
God's presence, and get back to him without following his path (repentance
and grace).We all have weaknesses and need God to help us overcome,
even the strongest of us. That is true.As for your assessment...
"more humility needed"... that's your judgement. We are told not
to judge. That's God's job.More humility is always a good
thing. But let's not judge her from a letter.I'll bet if
you got to know her more, you would find she is very humble (though strong
willed and bold in her testimony of the gospel).Being confident in
your testimony does not mean you are not humble.The more I
contemplate the gospel... the more humble I become. I suspect she is the same.
@Impartial7.People often accuse those who claim to "know"
something of being deluded by their "feelings," especially if it goes
against the conventional wisdom of the day, or in our day, politically correct
thinking. This gives the people that accuse, the excuse that they need to
side-step any critical examination the issue.
The headline feels self-aggrandizing. Why not say "Why I choose the
church" instead?As it stands, it's not going to help my
wife feel any more inclined to come back to church.
We're all people. Time to stop the division of men and women into
irreconcilable and opposing genders.
I wish I knew for certainty what you know, but I tend to agree more with Alfred
Lord Tennyson: “There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than
in half the creeds.”
People often confuse "knowing" with "feelings".
@Tony1234.You are absolutely right. Especially in the LDS Church, we need
women to have a platform to make sure their voices are heard and their wisdom is
acted on. For the past 10 years or so, 3 women in each ward and
branch have been included in the Ward and Branch Council. But, too often
bishops and other priesthood leaders simply don't bother to listen and try
to understand women's different perspectives and the wisdom these women
have. So, most of these women just stop talking. They figure, why bother.The Church cannot move forward the way it needs to until the men become
real partners with women in leading local wards and branches.
@Karen R.As always, I appreciate your perspective. Just
because I may not have experienced always knowing something from my earliest
memory, like Eva Witesman or Gordon B. Hinckley, I cannot discount the honest
description of Witesman's and Hinckley's experience. It does not make
me any less of a person. It just means my personal experience is different.
It is true one of the better parts of the Mormon church are the women.
Therefore, the church needs to give the priesthood to the women and enhance the
I am troubled by Eva's tone here, as well as the tone of her devotional
speech. At the heart of it, she presupposes that men in the LDS Church are out
to suppress women and demean them. Any obstacle to her personal success can be
attributed to those Neanderthal Mormon Men.I reject her very
premise. She paints with a very broad brush here. Sure, there are men who seek
to dominate others...but there are just as many dominating women who henpeck
their husbands. Her message oozes with paranoia and
self-righteousness. Note her remarks about her own greatness. The Lord
doesn't sanction such attitudes.
Karen R would be wise to remember that those once bitten by a snake fear even a
Karen-Do you offer proof of what you believe or the opinions you
state on these boards. You do seem to flock to the religion articles. I would also like to state I was born knowing there is divinity in me and that
we are destined for a greater purpose. This life is not as good as it gets.
Amen and YES YES YES Eva!!! Very well written Op-ed.
Thanks for sharing. Here's to us giving a platform to these strong women.
Let them speak, let them lead and let us all start listening. We have strong
women in the church, let's give them space to be who they are.
absolutely beautiful!! I wish more LDS women would speak these truths. We do
come here knowing already as this life is just a continuation of the pre-mortal
period.We do know. It's up to us to continue our progression.
The skeptics will never understand...because they didn't fully understand
before.Carry on strong women of faith!!
If these women (or men for that matter) are so strong, why do they need God?
Personally, I know I have a lot of weaknesses and need God to help me overcome,
or at least, deal with them. I suppose I may be strong in some things...but life
and experience may even wear those strengths down over time. This talk sounds
too worldly for me. Less feminist humanism and more humility may be needed.
Seems this article will both lift the faithful and trigger the skeptic. The
faithful like to be lifted but man do the skeptical love to be triggered.
Karen R."A skeptic like me...".That's a
good one. You should be as honest about yourself as you require others to be.
Thanks for the humor. I don't think the article was written for you to
benefit from. It was written for those who wish to be strengthened in their
KarenWho are you to tell someone what they know to be true. Libs have all
the answers and reject those that have differing views. Sad.
Great article. Great attitude. Great outlook. Great faith. Great testimony.
Great truth. Great YES, YES, YES! Thanks for writing.
Faith is fulfilling. Identity politics leaves a person empty.
This is a powerful powerful article. Writes so much in just a few words.
"I was born knowing — knowing — that there was divinity in
me."This is an extraordinary statement. A skeptic like me would
be willing to respect it if it started a little more humbly - and accurately -
with, "I feel like I was born knowing..." (Or proof of the assertion
could be offered. There's always that option.)